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VBS: Learning and Serving with Joy - Part 1

Smiles and More Smiles: The Joy of VBS!

 

As I walked through the halls this week at church, it's hard to believe that last week was VBS!  All the decorations are down, no kids jumping and playing games outside, no VBS music playing in the sanctuary, etc.  It's quiet, but I still have the VBS tunes running through my mind along with good memories of last week!  Our theme is different every year at VBS, but some things still remain the same each year...

Every year, I love the smiles and laughter from the kids during our VBS.  I especially like watching when a child comes to our VBS for the first time - to see their reaction.  This year, I met "Sam".  I could see he was a bit shy and quiet the first day.  As I walked by the games station on Monday morning, I saw him sitting with his crew looking a bit sullen.  I went over to sit by him and introduce myself.  We talked a bit and Sam shared that he was missing playing legos at home.  I agreed that playing legos is a lot of fun.  As we sat together, I talked to him about the next couple of days and what he will get to do while he is at VBS.  Our theme, "Maker Fun Factory", was a perfect for a boy his age who loves creating all kinds of things with legos.  At the end of our conversation, I encouraged him to give VBS a chance and that he might just be surprised to find out how much fun it can be.  I kept my eye on Sam each day.   I loved that his smile got bigger and bigger each time we saw each other.  Smiles turned into passing high fives.  He was interacting with other kids and moving to the music during our closing time.  Finally, towards the end of the week, I asked Sam what he thought about VBS.  He said he really liked it.  I asked, "So do you think we will see you next year?"  And with a smile, he said, "Oh, yeah!"  I hope so!

Yes, those moments like Sam and other children who come to VBS fill my heart with joy that only Jesus can fill!  There are times that I wonder what lasting impact does our VBS ministry have on the children who attend?  It can be difficult to know; however, there are indications that lives are being touched and changed by the love of Jesus that we share during VBS.  For example, several our young crew leaders each year are former VBS participants who don't attend Peace, but love serving at VBS.  Parents will often talk with me during family night or when I run into them out in our community.  They share how much their children love VBS.  Many parents have commented that the VBS music CD that we send home gets played over and over in their car.  I like knowing that the families are enjoying the music.  After all, there is a message of God's love in each of those songs!  And every so often, parents will share with me how their child told them how much they love Jesus.  Our last day at VBS this year, a mom pulled me to the side and shared with me that her daughter told her the night before that she had asked Jesus into her heart.  This mom was so happy to hear her daughter express love for Jesus and she thanked our church for being such a blessing to her children through VBS.  

What a blessing to be able to serve God and His children!  To serve in this way, fills our hearts with joy!

Submitted by Katherine Richards, Director of Family Ministry at Peace Lutheran 

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